You and your spouse have come to agree on most of the terms of your divorce. But the sticking point remains the custody of the kids. In fact, many of the challenges of your marriage have been about the children and your different parenting styles.
What if the two of you can brook no agreement over who will assume custody of your children? Is it ever all right to split them up where one lives with their other parent and one or more stay with you?
The court will not order children to be separated
Except in the rarest of circumstances, e.g., one child has physically or sexually abused a sibling, the family law courts will not rule for split custody that will separate your children when you divorce. However, if both parents reach an accord on the custody matter and decide that it is in the children’s best interest to live separately, it may be possible to convince the court to sign off on the agreement.
Why this should be a last resort option and not a go-to choice
If your children are deprived of the opportunity to grow up together in the same home(s), they will lack the shared childhood memories that typically form the glue that will keep them in one another’s lives as adults. If you want your children to have close relationships once they are grown, you should be that aware splitting custody could affect this.
When it might be a reasonable decision
If one parent is planning to relocate for a job or to be closer to their own family members, an older child might resist and want to remain at the same school, with their class and teammates. Rather than uprooting a high school student who is involved in many extracurriculars, it might be kinder to let them stay full-time with their other parent.
Learning more about the Illinois custody laws can help you devise your strategy for the court.